"Read, kiddo, read" hopes to bring kids to books

James Patterson is one of the bestselling authors in North America. So it was perhaps particularly alarming for him to discover a book-related problem in his own home: His elementary-school-age son wasn't into reading.

So in October Patterson launched the website

The site includes reviews for books ranging from those for newborns to those for teens, interviews with children’s authors, and a book blog with reading lists. In order not to confuse kids (and their parents) with too many choices, the site never features more than 200 titles at a time. These are divided into categories like "great illustrated books," "great transitional books," "great pageturners," and "great advanced reads."

Between 2005 and 2007, Patterson invested more than $600,000 in his annual PageTurner Awards, another attempt to promote literacy. But now will replace the awards.

According to Publishers Weekly, the problem in Patterson's own home is already under control. PW reports that Patterson's son, Jack, read a dozen books last summer, including "To Kill a Mockingbird."

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